Rural theft fell last year but still cost Wiltshire £865,000
According to a report published today by a leading insurer NFU Mutual specialising in farming and rural interests, Wiltshire saw rural theft fall by 19% in 2020. The South West region saw a decrease of 24% over the previous 12 months.
Nationally, the value of rural thefts has been estimated at £43.3m in 2020, the lowest annual cost in 5 years.
Detective Sergeant Greg Fergusson of the Rural Crime Team said: “Rural crime has fallen during the lockdown periods over the past year. However, what we have seen is a shift of theft of larger equipment such as livestock, tractors and loaders to smaller items such as GPS systems and quad bikes that can more easily be transported. Livestock theft is still a problem but it has been harder to move animals around the country as there have been fewer vehicles on the road.”
“Any theft can have a big impact on local communities, insurance premiums and food prices. Modern farming methods use GPS for gathering data about soil and to monitor crop conditions and many farms have quadbikes. To combat such crimes we work closely with land owners, neighbouring Police Forces and rural communities and organisations who provide valuable intelligence.”
“We need everybody to be alert to rural theft particularly now Covid rules have been relaxed. You can report on the Wiltshire Police website or by calling 101. In an emergency situation always call 999.”
Rural crime is not limited to theft but includes heritage crime and wildlife crime such as animal cruelty, poaching and hare coursing.
As we enter the harvest season we expect to see an increase in hare coursing and the Rural Crime Team, along with our community policing teams and colleagues in the Ministry of Defence Police, will be actively seeking to prevent, disrupt and capture those involved in this activity. We would ask members of the public who see activity they believe to be hare coursing, groups of men with running dogs in large open fields for example, to report the matter as soon as possible.
CrimeStoppers Rural Crime Month
Crimestoppers has been working with a variety of partners including Mitie and Neighbourhood Watch to raise the profile of rural crime during August. They want people to know what it is, why it’s a problem and what you can do to help stop it.
Rural crime is repetitive and organised, but without information it can’t be tackled. Rural communities are often aware of criminal activity that is happening, we’re here to help you speak up. According to NFU Mutual around three quarters of rural crime goes unreported.
The month-long campaign uses the theme Together we can speak up to stop rural crime and will be speaking to rural residents: who may feel unsafe in their own homes. Farm owners who have to foot the bill for criminal damage and visitors who can be our eyes and ears to report what they see.
Wiltshire Police will be reposting the CrimeStoppers social media posts and you can do so too by following:
@CrimestoppersUK on Twitter and @crimestoppers on Facebook
Security advice for agricultural vehicles
On July 9, PC Marc Jackson attended the annual North Wiltshire training group for the agricultural sector and gave extensive advice in regard to the theft of, and security considerations for, agricultural vehicles.
The past year has seen a slight drop off in the theft of agricultural vehicles, potentially due to the twin effects of COVID and leaving the European Union have had on the export of stolen items by organised crime groups. With the UK now hopefully moving out of COVID, and as new regulations bed in there is potentially going to be an increase in such crime and the team were thankful for the opportunity to present this message and impart their specialist knowledge to potential victims.
The cost of a tractor depends very much on a farmer’s needs. But a low engine power tractor can cost between £10,0000 - £30,000 and the higher engine power £50,000 - £150,000 upwards. Second-hand tractors retain their worth costing £20,000 - £50,000 upwards, meaning the onwards sale for a new stolen tractor will earn an organised crime Group tens of thousands presently. 123 were stolen in Wiltshire in 2019-20 and106 in 2020-21.
To arrange a talk for a group on any aspect of rural crime please contact the Rural Crime Team.
The Rural Crime Team is diligent in its work and over the past month has run a number of roadside operations alongside Roads Policing Unit, Wiltshire Council Environmental Health Officers and National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.
Spot checks on vehicles identifies offences
The purpose of the operation was to disrupt those individuals who are involved in illegal waste removal/disposal and to identify stolen machinery and vehicles which maybe moving about on the roads of Wiltshire.
A number of offences were identified and follow up-enquiries are also being completed by the Wiltshire Council environment officers on several waste carriers.
Drivers can expect to see more of these joint operations as the Rural Crime Team and Roads Policing Unit continue to pursue those involved in rural crime offences.
Missing puppy reunited with its owners
This week Chippenham CPT was able to reunite a missing 14 week old Cockerpoo puppy with its owners after it was found in an unattended caravan by officers liaising with members of the Travelling community.
Acting Sgt Elliot Alvis said: “We took care of the puppy for the afternoon while the owners travelled up to Chippenham Police Station to collect her. They seemed very pleased to be reunited with her and were very grateful for our help.”
If you do have a dog make sure that its chip is up-to-date with your current contact details. Each Community Policing Team is now equipped with chip readers to help speed up the return of lost or stolen dogs.
If you are a dog owner why not sign up as a member of Dog Watch? It is a group that has grown since the start of the year to almost 900 subscribers.
This interest group can be joined by signing into your account. Once logged in you will see there is a menu on the left hand side of the screen. Click on the fourth item down, ‘Community Interests’ and the screen will change and you will see a number of tick boxes for some of the more popular areas that people follow. One of these is Dog Watch.
There is a green button at the foot of this page with ‘Save Community Interests’ and once you click this you will be signed up to Community Speed Watch.
Above the green ‘Save Community Interests’ button there is another ‘Switch to advanced mode’ ad if you click on that it will open up a number of drop down menus showing a much wider selection of interest groups.
Do have a look at the demographic information and complete as much as possible. All information is confidential and very securely stored. The more that you include the more appropriate the messages are that you will receive.
Crimes and Incidents July 2021
Known female suspect has been walking her dogs along a footpath, one of which was off the lead. The dog off the lead had a rabbit in it's mouth, it came towards the IP's dog, dropped the rabbit and tried to attack the dog. The IP has tried to pull the dog away but the suspect's dog has bitten the IP's wrist, the IP has lost his watch during the incident. The IP has 2 x wounds on his wrists which have bled.
IP has been working at the location and has had a break with the farmer of the land. When leaving two dogs have charged at him. The black dog has bitten the RPs foot and the brown one has bitten the RP on the knee. This has left a red mark. The RP house shouted at the owner of the dogs- who is the farmers son and he has told the RP that he told him to get of his land and just walked away.
THREATENED TO GET GUN
A known male has threatened to shoot the IPs dogs after he stated they had killed one of his sheep causing the IP to be in immediate fear of violence.
Known male has threatened to get his gun and shoot the IP's dog following an altercation over the death of a sheep. This caused the IP to feel alarmed.
Unknown suspect has entered an insecure stable block and stolen pony headcollar TVO £65
Female suspect was seen cutting pieces of the IP's new willow fencing and throwing them into the field opposite.
Unknown suspect has stolen a rare breed poultry bird ( a Sumatran Chicken) from a coop on land rented by the IP. No suspects
Unknown suspect(s) have cut the padlocks to the IP's land, where they have then used bricks, to smash up his caravans and tried to set fires.
Unknown suspect(s) arrived at the IP's address in a blue transit van. The suspect(s) removed the horse trailer hitch lock by unknown means leaving it smashed on the ground. The suspect(s) hitched the green Ifor Williams 511 horse trailer for carrying two horses to the transit van and made off.
Unknown suspects have smashed the padlock off a church door and opened the doors. Value of damage to padlock £10.
4x4 vehicles seen racing recklessly off road. 2 of the IP's fence posts have been broken due to the manner of their driving.
Unknown suspect has entered the IP's farmyard and has made off with the GPS electronics system from his tractor.
IP has estimated that the GPS System is £15,000.
Unknown suspect has smashed a sign on a field gate saying "private property".
Unknown person/s have entered a locked building site through the padlocked gate by using bolt croppers to cut the padlock. They have then stolen approx 400 litres of diesal and various tools. Approximate cost to replace Diesal £400.00 Approximate cost to replace Tools £500.00
Unknown suspect(s) have used unknown means to break and removed one of the 12ft gates that the IP/her family have recently installed in their field. One of the gates has been cut off the hinge and removed, it is unconfirmed if any damage has been caused to the other one.
PROPERTY: Gate to approx. value of £250.
Unknown suspects have cut the fence at the bottom of the field, pulled the alarm off the wall and entered the IP's shed. They have stolen a chainsaw, Tenacka leafblower, steel trimmer, steel hedgecutter, steel long reach hedgecutter and polsar attachment. TVO £1200-1500
POACHING - Six unknown suspects have been seen to remove trout from a private fishery believed to be without permission.
Unknown suspect/s have stolen 1 of IP's female goats by unknown means from the field their 5 goats are kept in, sometime overnight. The stolen female goat is valued at £250 ear tag number uk2924190001
Overnight, unknown suspect(s) have smashed 2 windows on the IP's barn. This has caused damage to the value of £300.
Unknown suspect(s) gained entry to the IP's garage causing damage to the door and removed 2 x trailer tents and tools.
Unknown suspect(s) have used unknown means to steal the remote control for a high level crane that was being stored in the grain barn at the farm.
PROPERTY: Remote control for crane TVO £5077.88.
Two unknown male suspects have arrived at the location in a white flat bed truck and attempted to steal the IP's caravan. The IP interrupted the males who drove off empty handed.
Unknown suspect has stolen IPs cockerel and chicken from the pen in her garden over night.
Unknown suspect(s) have used unknown means to remove the padlocks to two gates in order to gain access to the farm. Suspect(s) have then used unknown means to break the padlock in order to access the shed. Once within, a quad bike has been stolen TVO £3500.
Online Crime Report
A Fendt 828 was broken into (damaged lock) and the main display screen was taken out of the tractor. Items stolen is TVO £1000.00 plus £100.00 for damage to lock. There is no CCTV, no known witnesses and nothing left behind at the scene.
Unknown suspect has stolen three aluminium sides from a 16ft Ifor-Williams trailer parked on the rroad, two 8ft alumininium sides from roadside of trailer and one 6ft aluminium side from the rear
Unknown suspect has gained access to the IP's out building and have stolen a Yamaha 450 quad bike and two petrol strimmers. Theft TVO £4000
Wootton Bassett CPT
Unknown suspects have bent open a security gate and entered a compound. Once inside they have entered an open shed, done an untidy search and then gone to the derelict farmhouse in the compound and thrown discarded disc cutters at the windows of the farmhouse causing 17 windows to smash. Nothing of value has been stolen.
Wootton Bassett CPT
Unknown offender(s) have accessed locked gated pound via gap in hedge at rear of the pound.Barbed wire fencing has been pulled away to gain access.vNumerous display caravan doors have been opened.1 caravan has had lco damaged to gain entry and 3 windows stolen from it along with its Jockey wheel. A 2nd caravan has had its Jockey wheel stolen and a 3rd caravan has been entered and a fitted kitchen unit has been removed and stolen.. TVO of around £1,500+ in total.